From fighting misinformation about Ukraine through social platforms, to creating digitally interactive English textbooks, it seems there is something great boiling beneath the surface of Eastern Europe. This is the third time that Res Publica, the Visegrad Fund, Google and the Financial Times have joined forces to publish a list of exceptional innovators dotted around the East of the Old Continent. These personalities have kick-started initiatives in social, political, media, cultural, scientific and business domains. The motivation is simple: to raise awareness of these individuals and build a network for them (and us) in which to collaborate.
Wojciech Przybylski, president of the Res Publica foundation, explained the project as follows: "We want to tell a story of inspiring, creative and socially engaged innovators from Central and Eastern Europe. Our region can be proud of developers, business owners, scientists and cultural managers, who are now the driving force behind the innovation for the future."
Augmented reality political campaign (via Youtube)
An example of what an innovative project looks like would be Overly, an app created by Ainārs Kļaviņš in collaboration with IR magazine. Using the political cartoons published in the magazine, along with augmented reality technology, it is possible to "hack" any political advertisement in the Baltic states. Not only does this allow for public social critique, but allows the consumer to interact with advertisements in general.
Instead of falling into the popular discourse of doomsday politics, which seems to be the norm at the moment, it is important to remember that change is possible. Sometimes, all it takes is a little motivation from those who are one step ahead.
Cafébabel has picked 10 outstanding examples from 10 different countries, from the Czech Republic and ending in Armenia: